Mira Nair on Vanity Fair

Submitted by Matthew Arnoldi on Sat, 01/22/2005 - 16:00

MA: What do you feel is your leading task as a director?

MN: Essentially it's the challenge of coaxing everybody to bloom in their work, and that's the same for all in principle, whether it's one of the A-list stars or one of the extras. Great actors who are like instruments to me. I try to tell them what I want and if it happens it's wonderful.

MA: Did the budget limit you and were there any difficulties on set?

Punk Pioneers

Submitted by Miles Fielder on Sun, 01/09/2005 - 16:00

Miles Fielder: Would you say that End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones give an accurate representation of The Ramones?

Tommy Ramone: I think it gives a very good representation. It covers the beginning, how the band got together. And then it goes into what it was like being in a rock 'n' roll band; the trials and tribulations involved. It shows what it's like when four very interesting but slightly troubled people get together. It shows the joys and the sorrows of being in a great rock band.

2005 Film Preview

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Tue, 12/28/2004 - 16:00

This year's film release calendar is heavily populated with sequels, remakes and franchise films. Nothing new there: the most successful films at the UK box office in 2004 (and previous years for that matter) were sequels. Where big budgets are involved, producers continue to play safe, chasing big names whether that be on the screen, behind the camera, or in choosing the story. Continuing advances in computer generated filmmaking have also been offering filmmakers some exciting possibilities for reworking old stories.

Putting Bums On Seats

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Wed, 12/22/2004 - 16:00

There is no red carpet or flashing cameras, and the Cinemark Tinseltown in Vancouver is quiet on a wet Friday night. Another Canadian movie is taking the fast lane through movieland's calendar, and by the end of the film you can count the audience left on two hands. Some walk out early. Two leave midway and a couple in the back row spend the whole film giggling and talking loudly.

Chilled Out Minnesota-Milwaukee-style

Submitted by Matthew Arnoldi on Mon, 12/20/2004 - 16:00

In director Allan Mindel's first film, Milwaukee Minnesota, Jane Fonda's son Troy Garity plays a young man with a mental impairment and a fine skill in fishing under the ice. Brought up by his controlling mother, Albert finds early on in the film, that he has to stand on his own two feet, fend off the attentions of others who are out to steal his money and prove to others that he can cope on his own.

Getting To The Heart Of It

Submitted by Paul Griffiths on Mon, 12/06/2004 - 16:00

Indie hit Spanking The Monkey signalled David O Russell as an inventive director to watch, unafraid to take on incest and masturbation with broad strokes of left-field comedy. Road movie Flirting With Disaster brought him some star power to drive along his chuckle-strewn script, while in Three Kings he levelled his sights on something larger. With a bigger budget and scope, his Gulf war caper brought both intelligence and black humour to the Kuwaiti desert.

McLibel Filmmaker Jams the Dam

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Tue, 11/30/2004 - 16:00

When the Grand Coulee dam was completed on the Columbia river in Washington in 1942, it was the largest dam in the world and held up as a marvel of America's engineering power and prowess. Woody Guthrie even sang a song about the "greatest wonder of the world" at the opening ceremony. As with subsequent big dam projects in the West, the economic benefits that were trumpeted to the electrified rooftops, eclipsed the plight of the displaced peoples, often indigenous, or the prime farmland, forests, and ecosystems that would be ruined in the process.

Alan Menken - Secrets To Scoring

Submitted by John Millar on Fri, 11/26/2004 - 16:00

Composer Alan Menken has won more Oscars than Jack Nicholson and Tom Hanks combined: he won two for Best Score and Best Song in 1990 for The Little Mermaid, two more in 1992 for Beauty and The Beast, another couple in 1993 for Aladdin and topped up with two more in 1996 for Pocahontas. He has also been nominated for Oscars for Little Shop of Horrors, Hercules and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

Here Menken talks about some of the creative decisions he and lyricist Glenn Slater made on the Western-themed, Disney animation Home On The Range, which is now out on DVD.